Today I passed a spiffy-looking body shop that I hadn’t noticed before. Across from a well-run tire and auto place that has been there for decades that I loyally go to to rubber our vehicles. Both businesses had a line of cars neatly wrapped around their buildings, bustling.
What first caught my eye about the dent place was the clean, modern logotype on their sign. They appeared to have done the old FedEx arrow in the negative space of the “Ex”. Yet I’ve never seen advertisement for them anywhere. Thinking of their neighbors, I realized they could do quite well building on referrals from across the street.
It would be tempting for the new kid in town to chum it up and work hard to secure a pact. Throw effort and energy into impressing and making friends with the local authority.
But the most effective and lasting way to ally with their neighbors is to be close (check) and consistently provide excellent service to their customers. Keeping their side of the street looking just as good and their patrons leaving just as happy. Expressing their shared values will inevitably create and grow a natural bond between these complementary establishments. Maybe that’s what happened at this intersection. Either way, it was a fun thought experiment.
How does this apply to your industry? Who would make an important aspect of your ecosystem, and how can you express your like-mindedness and build relationship? If you are an online business, what does proximity look like?